Kroger shuffles around execs, Peco Foods names COO, Walmart hires host of female execs and more personnel announcements
European Machine Vision Association (EMVA), China
Dr. Fritz Dierks, director of R&D, module business for Basler AG, was re-elected chairman of the GenICam Standard Group, and is assisted by the three vice-chairmen—Rupert Stelz, image acquisition group manager for STEMMER IMAGING; Stéphane Maurice, director of software development at Matrox Imaging; and Christoph Zierl, technical director for MVTec Software.
Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, Va.
Marjorie DePuy joined as senior director for supply chain and sustainability. DePuy maintains more than 15 years of experience in non-profit and association program management. In her new role, DePuy will build upon FMI’s key functional areas of supply chain and sustainability, amplifying the association’s traditional strengths in addition to bringing a new awareness of the reciprocity and interplay between the two key areas. DePuy was formerly the vice president of industry relations and education with the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, where she guided strategy and developed content for an annual conference, educational programs and stakeholder engagement focused on the healthcare supply chain. Most recently, while traveling in New Zealand, DePuy lent her talents to support EcoFest North, a month-long series of eco events focused on community-led initiatives in sustainable living. DePuy started her career at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, where she designed and programmed the “Future of Food” Symposium, coordinated organizational strategic planning and served as primary liaison to several member committees.
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), Washington, D.C.
Doc Claussen, vice chair of Gulf & Ohio Railways, Inc., was elected as chairman. Claussen has served for the last 3 years as vice chairman of ASLRRA and chairman of the Short Line Safety Institute. He also serves on the board of the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation, the University of Tennessee College of Nursing Advisory Board and the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. He maintains 11 years of experience with Gulf & Ohio, following a career as a diagnostic and interventional radiologist. Stefan Loeb, executive vice president and CMO of Watco Cos., LLC, was elected vice chair. Loeb has previously served on the board of directors representing the Central region, and is a member of the BNSF Short Line Caucus and the Rail Industry Working Group.
Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), Washington, D.C.
Rebecca Chávez was hired to serve as business development manager, responsible for developing relationships with major produce buyers, distributors, foodservice companies, trade associations and grower-shippers to encourage the adoption of the EFI workforce training, certification and verification model. Chávez has spent her career working in the rural sector on food security, nutrition, economic livelihoods, gender equity and youth leadership. Previously, she worked as healthy families program director at Puente a la Salud Comunitaria in Mexico, where she learned the value of buying at open-air markets from vendors who sell their goods spread out on the ground.
PMMI, Reston, Va.
Jorge Martinez Garibay was named EXPO PACK general director for the Mexico office, tasked with direct sales, marketing, operations and publicrelations efforts of EXPO PACK México and EXPO PACK Guadalajara. Garibay previously held a director title at IM Intermoda, where he managed all aspects of operations of the 43,000-square-meter exhibits. Prior to that, Garibay brought to fruition 32 local and international events hosted at the Expo Guadalajara convention center, including The International Mining Convention, Latin American Poultry Congress and Mexican Petroleum Congress, among others.
Grower-Shipper Association, Salinas, Calif.
Christopher Valadez was elected new president, effective in May, succeeding Jim Bogart, the trade association’s longest-serving president. Valadez spent 11 years at the California Fresh Fruit Association as director of environmental and regulatory affairs, where he shaped and addressed policies affecting economic sustainability and competitiveness for the agriculture industry. Since 2008, his primary focus has been labor issues, including management/employee relations and wage and hour, as well as human health and safety, water supply and quality, food safety, air quality and political engagement. Previous to that, he spent 4 years serving as deputy district director for former Congressman George Radanovich, providing outreach on federal policy matters affecting the agricultural economy, namely immigration and water policy.
MamaMancini's Holdings, Inc., East Rutherford, N.J.
Allan Sabatier was hired as vice president of business development, effective April 1, to head MamaMancini’s entry into the foodservice and alternate market segments. In this role, he will develop business opportunities with foodservice distributors, chain restaurants, convenience stores, health and eldercare institutions, college and universities, corporate commissaries and kitchens, casinos and export distributors. Sabatier maintains extensive perishable foods industry experience with a focus on foodservice and alternate channels. He has held senior executive positions in sales and marketing for Dole, Del Monte, Ready Pac Foods and ConAgra. Sabatier previously served as vice president of sales for Carl Wolf at Alpine Lace Brands, Inc. in the 1990s, where he was instrumental in leading Alpine Lace to national distribution before it was sold to Land O’ Lakes.
FiveStar Gourmet Foods, Ontario, Calif.
Kristyn Lawson was appointed new senior vice president of sales, effective April 1. Prior to joining FiveStar, she served as vice president of sales at Good Foods, where she launched the Good Foods retail brand across North American retail channels. Her previous experience includes vice president of sales at Yucatan Foods, where she was instrumental in creating and launching the Cabo Fresh line and developing in-store fresh solution programs. Lawson’s produce career began in the late 1990s with Marie’s Salad Dressings and Dips, where she was regional sales manager.
The Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Mary Ellen Adcock, currently group vice president of retail operations, was promoted to senior vice president, retail operations, effective May 1. Adcock joined Kroger in 1999 at Country Oven Bakery, a manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Ky., where she held several manufacturing leadership positions, including human resources manager, general manager and regional operations manager. She was promoted to vice president of deli/bakery manufacturing in 2009. In 2012, Adcock was promoted to vice president of natural foods merchandising, where she led the launch of the Simple Truth brand. Adcock was promoted in 2014 to vice president of merchandising for the Columbus, Ohio, division and became vice president of operations for the same division in 2015, where she led her team to achieve a double-digit increase in sales and market share growth. She was promoted to her current role in 2016. Joe Grieshaber, currently president of the Fred Meyer division, was promoted to senior vice president, merchandising, effective May 1. Grieshaber began his career with Kroger in 1983 as a store management trainee in Nashville, Tenn. He has served in a variety of leadership roles with Kroger, including meat merchandiser and district manager for the Michigan division. In 2000, Grieshaber was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Columbus, Ohio, division before taking on his role as group vice president of perishables merchandising and procurement in Cincinnati in 2003. He was then named president of the Dillons division in 2010. Grieshaber served as president of the Columbus division before moving to his current role in 2017. Robert Clark, currently senior vice president of merchandising, was named senior vice president, supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing, effective May 1. Clark began his career with the company in 1985 as a courtesy clerk at Fry's Food Stores in Arizona. Since then, he has held various leadership positions, including store and district management as well as in grocery merchandising. In 2002, he was named vice president of merchandising for Fry's. In 2010, he was promoted to vice president of operations for the Columbus division before taking on the role of vice president of merchandising for the Fred Meyer division in 2011. Clark was promoted to group vice president of non-perishables in 2013, and to his current role in March 2016. Dennis Gibson, currently president of the King Soopers division, was promoted to president of the Fred Meyer division, effective May 1, succeeding Grieshaber. Gibson returns to Fred Meyer, where he began his Kroger career in 1984. He spent eight years in a variety of apparel merchandising roles in Oregon, Utah and Idaho. Between 1992-1999, Gibson held store and district management positions for the Fred Meyer division. He was promoted to vice president and regional director for the division in 1999, prior to serving as group vice president of store operations. In 2011, Gibson moved to the Columbus division as vice president of operations, before being named vice president of merchandising. He was promoted to president of the QFC division in 2014, and named to his current role in 2016. Gibson began his career in the retail industry in 1976 as a management trainee for Grand Central discount department stores in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dan De La Rosa, currently president of the Columbus division, was promoted to president of the King Soopers division, effective May 1, succeeding Gibson. De La Rosa joined the company in 1980 as a clerk assistant in the Ralphs division. He maintains a diverse background in operations and merchandising, serving as store director, director of corporate brands for Ralphs and Food 4 Less and district manager. From 2007-2013, he held several fresh merchandising roles with increasing responsibility, including vice president of meat and seafood merchandising for the enterprise. He was named vice president of merchandising at the Fred Meyer division in 2015, and was promoted to his current role in 2017. He also served on the board of the Western Association of Food Chains. Marlene Stewart, currently president of the Houston, Texas, division, announced plans to retire from the company after 41 years of service, effective July 20. Stewart started her career with Kroger in 1977 as a bagger in the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio, division. Stewart went on to serve in many leadership roles in the division, including in-store and district management, merchandising, operations and training. In 2005, Stewart moved to Raleigh, N.C., to serve as director of operations, before being named vice president of operations for the Mid-Atlantic division in 2007. She moved to Seattle and joined the QFC division in 2011 as vice president of merchandising. Stewart was promoted to president of the Dillons division in 2015, and named to her current role in 2016. Joe Kelley, currently vice president on special assignment, was promoted to president of the Houston division, effective May 1, succeeding Stewart. Kelley joined Kroger earlier this year on special assignment, focusing on the company's continued work to improve the customer experience. Kelley is a seasoned retail executive with regional, national and international experience in leading sales, marketing, merchandising, category management, supply chain and operations. He has also held executive leadership roles with Ahold USA, Stop and Shop, Marsh Supermarkets and Price Chopper Supermarkets. Kelley most recently served as principal of Kelley Business Advisors, LLC, where he served as a business consultant for grocery retailers.
Peco Foods, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Bill Griffith joined as chief operations officer. Griffith maintains more than 25 years of management experience in innovation, finance, operations, sustainability and quality. Griffith previously served as president of Keystone Foods U.S., where he was responsible for all financial, operational and business aspects of the company. In addition to 9 years with Keystone, Griffith spent time at Perdue Foods, overseeing food safety, quality and regulatory compliance of all Perdue products. Prior to this, Griffith was a microbiologist at Tyson Foods, where he established a global reputation as an innovator in food safety technology.
Walmart, Bentonville, Ark.
Katie Finnegan, principal of Walmart's incubation arm, Store No. 8, and chief executive officer of Spatial&, announced plans to resign, effective June 7, to pursue other opportunities. Finnegan joined Walmart when it acquired Jet.com in 2016. New to the company are a slew of female execs, including Isabel Cruz as senior vice president, head of people for U.S. e-commerce; Barbara Messing as senior vice president, CMO; and Janey Whiteside as executive vice president and chief customer officer.
Hostess Brands, LLC, Kansas City, Mo.
Chad Lusk joined as senior vice president and CMO, responsible for overall profitable brand growth, consumer insights and analytics, brand strategy and innovation. Previously, Lusk was executive vice president and CMO at the Chamberlain Group, and before that, served as chief strategy officer, and later, senior vice president of marketing at Ferrara Candy Co. Previous to that, he was chief strategy officer and head of wholesale operations for Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores. Earlier in his career, he was a senior engagement manager at McKinsey & Co.
Farmer Boys, Riverside, Calif.
Arlene Estrada Petokas joined to serve as new vice president and chief people officer, responsible for developing and executing people strategies that support the company's operational goals and drive performance within the organization. Petokas maintains more than 20 years of human resources experience, with over a decade spent at quick-service restaurant companies. Her previous positions include human resources director at Del Taco, LLC and vice president of human resources at BLD Brands, LLC and CKE Restaurant Holdings Inc., which owns Carl's Jr., Hardee's Green Burrito and Red Burrito.
Catch Hospitality Group, New York
Michael Vignola, former corporate executive chef at BR Guest Hospitality, was named executive chef of the company’s new Strip House & Bills Bar and Burger restaurant, responsible for creating and developing the menu, designing the kitchen space and overseeing the CATCH STEAK kitchen.
Kevin Bradley was named vice president of sales and operations of the company’s new U.S. subsidiary.
Smartcool Systems Inc., Canada
Dr. Georg Hochwimmer will manage the operations of the company’s newly established wholly owned subsidiary in Germany. Hochwimmer maintains a career in assisting numerous small technology companies in financing and sales activities.
CBRE, Dallas, Texas
Jim Batjer joined as executive vice president of CBRE Capital Markets, focusing on the acquisition and disposition of large-scale retail and mixed-use developments across Texas and the Southwest. Batjer maintains 30 years of experience in real estate investment banking. He most recently served as a senior managing director in HFF’s Dallas office, and has been involved in real estate asset sales for major corporate, institutional and entrepreneurial owners.
Georgia‐Pacific Corp., Atlanta
Kathleen Walters announced plans to retire as executive vice president – consumer products group, effective June 1, following a distinguished career in the consumer products and paper industry. David Duncan, who currently serves as executive vice president – building products group, was named to lead the consumer products group. Pat Boushka, currently president of GP Cellulose, will succeed Duncan as leader of the building products group. Walters joined the company in 2004, taking on leadership of its commercial tissue business throughout North America, including sales, marketing, customer service, business development and strategy. In 2006, she gained responsibility for the company’s communication papers business, and in 2007, was named executive vice president for the company’s entire consumer products portfolio worldwide, including, at that time, a consumer products and personal care business in Europe. Walters previously served as president and CEO of Sappi Fine Paper North America. Prior to that, she held a number of key leadership positions with Kimberly‐Clark Corp. and Scott Paper Co. in Europe and the United States. Walters is chairman‐elect of the board of trustees for Syracuse University, and is a member of the board’s executive committee. She also is a member of the board of directors and executive committee for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and serves on the boards of INVISTA, the Georgia Aquarium and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Duncan joined Georgia‐Pacific in January 2018 as executive vice president of building products group, after serving 7 years as president of INVISTA Performance Solutions, also a Koch Industries company. Duncan joined Koch in 1997, and held positions with Koch Capital Services and Koch Ventures, Inc., where he became managing director in 2001, and subsequently worked in Koch's business development group. In 2004, he was director of transition for the company's INVISTA acquisition. Later that year, Duncan joined Koch Minerals as chief financial officer before returning to INVISTA in 2007 as executive vice president of its downstream business. He maintains experience in transactions and business development, trading, manufacturing, marketing, sales, supply chain and R&D. Boushka has served as president of GP Cellulose since 2006, responsible for the company's global pulp business. Previously, Boushka served as chief financial officer for Koch Cellulose, and led the team that formed the company in 2004, which then became GP Cellulose after Koch Industries purchased Georgia‐Pacific in 2005. Boushka first joined Koch in 1998, working in Koch Carbon and Koch Minerals before moving to GP Cellulose in 2002. Boushka maintains more than 21 years of experience in corporate finance and business management. Munir Abdallah, currently vice president of sales and marketing for GP Cellulose, will succeed Boushka as president of GP Cellulose. Since 2009, Abdallah has been overseeing the business' commercial activities, including sales to more than 80 countries and pulp production planning for customers globally. He joined GP Cellulose in 1998 as a fluff pulp sales manager for Latin America, Middle East and Africa, and was instrumental in building the sales and service capability for the business. Abdallah also led the commercial team integration for the acquisition of Alabama River Cellulose in 2010 and Buckeye Technologies in 2013. These leadership changes will take effect June 1.
IN MEMORIUM: JOHN GORDON, SR., GORDON FOOD SERVICE
John Gordon, Sr., former leader of Gordon Food Service, Wyoming, Mich., passed away.
John and his Paul Gordon were instrumental in pioneering innovations that transformed their family’s business from a small, regional grocery supplier into a multi-billion dollar, multi-national leader in foodservice distribution.